Two top MGM executives are out at the studio following Amazon’s recent $8.5-billion acquisition of the movie empire.
Michael De Luca, motion picture group chairman of MGM, and Pam Abdy, president of motion pictures at MGM, announced their resignation on Wednesday, MGM representatives confirmed to IndieWire.
“We will depart our roles this summer,” the duo wrote in a memo to staff, shared by THR. “We are confident that the exciting vision Prime Video and Amazon Studios has for MGM and the organization Mike Hopkins is building along with Jennifer Salke and team, will guarantee MGM’s continued success.”
The move arrives just a month after Amazon closed its deal, which began in May 2021 and was finalized on March 17 of this year.
Mike Hopkins, SVP Prime Video & Amazon Studios, said in a separate memo obtained by THR, “Nurturing MGM’s legacy of quality storytelling is a top priority. MGM has indeed become a home for great storytellers. And this home is only going to expand, as we invest and work together to release an even larger theatrical slate in the years ahead. Doing this requires an amazing team, and the more we get to know you all, the more impressed we are.”
He continued, “Mike and Pam will depart this summer, which will allow us to continue the phased and measured approach to integration with Prime Video and Amazon Studios. Meanwhile, the current interim structure remains in place.”
Seasoned movie veteran Michael De Luca became chairman in 2020 just as the pandemic hit. Under De Luca’s tenure, the studio released such films as “House of Gucci” and saw “No Time to Die” to the finish line after multiple pandemic delays. Upcoming titles include Cannes premiere “Three Thousand Years of Longing” and New Line co-production “Creed III,” both set for distribution from United Artists.
See De Luca and Abdy’s full staff memo obtained by IndieWire below.
A little over two years ago we came to MGM to help restore its vibrancy among the storied studios of the last century and we are proud to say, thanks to all of you and your efforts, it is mission accomplished. With our goal achieved, and as we look ahead, we feel now is the right time for us to move on and explore our next chapter and challenge. We will depart our roles this summer. We are confident that the exciting vision Prime Video and Amazon Studios has for MGM and the organization Mike Hopkins is building along with Jennifer Salke and team, will guarantee MGM’s continued success.
Beginning with our arrival in early 2020, we were given the opportunity to revitalize and quickly grow MGM’s film slate by creating a home for the world’s best storytellers to make films for global audiences. We could not have imagined that shortly after our arrival the world would be impacted by a pandemic that essentially shut down our industry, nor could we have foreseen the various immediate and longer term challenges the pandemic would put in our path.
With the support of every member of MGM’s production team, and with our filmmaking partners by our side, we were able to get back to making movies and ultimately put in motion a deep bench of films, from filmmakers including Ridley Scott, Paul Thomas Anderson, Joe Wright, Channing Tatum and Reid Carolin, Ron Howard, George Miller, Billy Porter, Sarah Polley, Chinonye Chukwu, Cory Finley, Zach Braff, George Clooney, Michael B. Jordan, Emma Seligman, Luca Guadagnino, Zoe Kravitz, Rachel Morrison and many others, with the goal of creating a lineup of movies that would appeal to every kind of audience. Included among our slate are several films from Orion Pictures, which we relaunched under the leadership of Alana Mayo in August of 2020 amid the long-overdue examination of America’s relationship with race, with the goal of making films exclusively focused on – and brought to us by – underrepresented voices.
It’s been our honor and privilege to preside over a revitalized studio that navigated, along with our partners at Eon, the right release date for Daniel Craig’s final outing as James Bond and seeing the film become one of the highest-grossing films of 2021; while also seeing the studio earn eight Academy Award and seventeen BAFTA-nominations, with “Licorice Pizza” earning the studio’s first Best Picture Academy Award-nomination in over thirty years.
You, as well as our colleagues at UAR and Universal and all our filmmakers, have made all this possible and we are so grateful to have been part of such an incredible team. We are also grateful to Kevin Ulrich and everyone at Anchorage Capital, along with Chris Brearton, for bringing us in and wish everyone at Prime Video and Amazon Studios and MGM nothing but the best success going forward.
Michael De Luca and Pam Abdy